Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Downtown Chicago Weekending!

Ah, I'm so late with this recap, but I couldn't not document this past weekend! Sammy and I had so much fun downtown Chicago on our little staycation. We packed Saturday full of events and food and really enjoyed each other's company. I've been thinking about how lovely the weekend was every day since. 

So, here's a photo dump of everything we did (and ate)!

This cute face driving us into the city. 

We made it to Lou Mitchell's and it did NOT disappoint. I'm obsessed with this place now. 


They brought us an orange slice and a prune they soak in honey, which was surprisingly delicious, while we waited for our food. And the hostess left me a mini box of Milk Duds on my menu when she sat us which I thought was such a cute little touch.


We got to sit at the counter which I've always wanted to do at a diner so I was loving it. Our waitress was so kind and efficient. I got the salmon benedict which was crazy good and Sammy got a turkey sausage omelet (which comes in a skillet) with gravy that was amazing. I kept sneaking forkfuls of gravy from his plate.

We made it to the restaurant around 9:30 or so and beat the rush by like one minute. Literally. When we left there was a line out the door. That's how you know it's good people. People were willing to wait in 20 degree weather for a table. Also, they give you a little cup of ice cream after your meal. That's also how you know it's good. ;)


After breakfast we went right over to Christkindlmarket and walked around. We got there right as it opened and it was still totally packed. I didn't get to try any food not only because the lines were getting long, but also because I was stuffed from breakfast. I did get my little boot mug though! The cider was delicious and was nice to hold on to as we walked through the market. 

Waiting in line to go into one of the ornament "houses". I ended up getting a pretty wine colored ornament that has "Fröhliche Weihnachten" (which means Merry Christmas in German) written on it in really pretty script and a embroidered doily made in Germany. ZERO clue what I will use a single doily for, but I loved that it had a Christmas print on it and it was made in Germany. It's my very first Christmas decoration I have for myself! ;) 


After the market we uber-d to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the "Christmas Around the World" exhibit which was fun! 


The Italy tree!

He insisted on a selfie by our homeland tree ;)


I just really loved the Native American tree they had so I had to snap a picture. & obviously loving hard on the Paris tree. 

My other homeland tree ;) I thought this Germany tree was the prettiest of the bunch. 


The Belgium tree had belgium waffle ornaments which I thought was hilarious haha. & the American Eagle tree topper, although a bit over the top, was pretty badass on our tree. 


We walked through my favorite exhibit of the museum which is the "Main Street" exhibit where they show artifacts from the 1800's in different store fronts. So, they have pieces from clothing stores, general store, a doctor's and dentist office, post office, etc. I just love that nostalgic stuff so I'm a sucker for it every time. 

We also stopped to see the chicks which I always have mixed feelings about. Part of me wants to see them so badly because they're so frickin cute! but the other part of me feels bad they spend their days in an incubator (which I'm sure they do need for development but still). I've emailed the museum to ask what happens to the chicks once they need more space in that incubator for newly hatched chicks because I am a chick crusader, obviously ;) I'm anxiously waiting their response. 

It felt so festive walking around the main floor of the museum because there were trees everywhere! It did my Christmas loving heart good. 

After the museum we uber-d over to Millennium Park to walk around there, see the tree, and try to go ice skating. 

We took an obligatory photo at the bean!

We waited in line for a while since we had some time to kill before picking up the keys to our airbnb but it we didn't make it on to the ice before we had to leave. Apparently the ice was really slippery that day and people were falling left and right, so I was happy to avoid that ;)


We took pictures by the tree a little too early and it was still kind of sunny out so the lights weren't as visible. I wasn't a huge fan of the way the tree looked anyway which was disappointing. I'm a loyalist so I think it would have looked better back at the Daley Center anyway ;)

We came back after standing in the ice skating line and took another once it was a little darker and liked how this one turned out! Also, random side note, we saw two proposals happen right here at this spot. It was amazing and so sweet! & then we heard later that two more happened that night on the ice rink!

We stopped at Walgreen's to get some snacks for the evening and breakfast stuff for the next morning before picking up our keys to our place. We loved staying here Saturday night and wished we could have stayed longer. This would be my absolute dream.

This was our view and I wanted to stare out the window all night. I actually found myself just sitting and staring at points throughout the night. 

We ended up not being able to get into Club Lucky for dinner like I was hoping because I didn't count on it being so busy (which in hindsight was really stupid of me) so Sammy spent a good half hour calling different restaurants around the city and we ended up at... 

Michael Jordan's Steak House! Meaning we were in heaven all night haha. Sammy and I both love the Bulls, but Sammy like loves the Chicago Bulls. He recently asked me if instead of a "watch or something like that" for a wedding gift (pump the brakes, man) I would get him court side seats to a Bulls game haha. Anyway, we both love the Bulls, but we have an especially special place in our hearts for Michael Jordan. He's such a badass. Seriously. 

Sammy got steak frites and I got salmon with Mediterranean olives, cannelini beans, and an aged lemon sauce. It was so delicious.  


Ignore how dorky I look, thanks. 

And then we ended with the 23 layered chocolate cake because you honor Jordan with a 23 damn layered cake. We took half of it home. 

We are seriously such dorks! But we just love him. 

Annoyingly enough though, this is where I've been planning to take Sammy when he graduates the academy. I've been planning this for like a year and then he picks it Saturday night haha. We're still going because there's a special table (#23 of course) that Michael Jordan sits at when he comes to town but when he's not here you can reserve it and eat there from a specially curated menu. I was planning that as well so I thought I would still have that surprise under my belt until he read about it on the website and told me about it! Ugh! haha I'm still hoping to take him though. 

We got back to the condo and celebrated some news Sammy got this past week. More on that later as more details come in! We also almost put a dent in this man's wall with the cork sooooooooo you're welcome for that Sal from airbnb!


We made popcorn, finally got around to watching Christmas Vacation (not bad actually), stared some more out the window, and then I finished the entire bottle of champagne by myself ;)

This was my lovely view from bed ;) as he got up to cook me breakfast like a god damned champ.

And then this happened. I kept seeing the Denny's commercials for the reindeer pancakes they have for children right now, and I kept asking Sammy if we could go because I wanted them so badly, so he surprised me and made me them himself. And then I cried. Legitimately, cried of happiness. 

We had pancakes and turkey bacon (I normally don't eat meat but when I do it's usually only turkey products so I caved and had some then felt guilty afterwards haha the life of a neurotic) while watching a Mickey Christmas special on Netflix. Sammy clearly puts up with a lot of childish shit haha. 

After lounging around for a few hours in morning we packed up to go home. We tried to see the windows on State Street before leaving but the crowds were absolutely crazy since it had warmed back up to 45 degrees and everyone wanted to be out, so we headed home instead. 

I spent the rest of the evening making DIY holiday gifts for coworkers, baking cookies for our white elephant party at work, wrapping presents, and doing some more Christmas shopping with my momma and grandma. It was a productive end to a wonderful, wonderful weekend. 

I love our Christmas trips so much and even though the idea is to travel to a new city each year to experience Christmas in a new town I think this has to be my favorite trip we've done so far. Not surprising though since I reserve right to believe we live in the greatest city on earth. ;)

linking up with Biana!

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